Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Australian History, Again

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There's still a smidge of planning & gearing up happening here in our house as we ready ourselves for another year of fun & learning. The big thing I need to finish off is our Australian History for the year. Everything else is done & dusted & just waiting for final bits to arrive or the day on which we can crack open our gear & dive in!

All but the Australian history. The thing is I've yet to see a curriculum I'm totally in love with, one that follows our general love for literature combined with wonderful spines. Which was the exact problem I had last year when I began creating our own thing. I'm still working on that & while it's not unfolding entirely as I'd hoped it is coming together.

Truthfully I'd love something all ready done for me that mixes & matches all the lovely historical fiction our country has to offer with the spines that balance it all out. But if such a thing exists it appears, for now, to only be a figment of my imagination.

Which is why last year I started pulling things together ourselves. We did enjoy what we covered last year, but we moved at an extraordinarily, for us, slow pace. This year I'd like to pick up the pace, a lot, while still maintaining that balance. It's not an easy task, & with the compounded knowledge that each child is using a lovely literature based programme this year all ready I knew that my idea to speed us up a bit was going to have to be carefully constructed.

And while most of us, myself included, will admit that all good ideas come to you in that 30 seconds before your children realise you've secretly locked yourself in the bathroom, this one did not. It came to me in the local book store. It's not a very ingenius idea considering I'm all ready doing it for all our other subjects, on long adventures in the car, or even as a family on a dreary winter's night.

We're adding in audio books. See, I told you it was simple. I think the biggest reason the idea alluded me before is that as members of an Audio Club we often obtain the majority of our books that way. Except that I've never considered looking for a lot of Australian Historical Fiction there, just like I don't generally make much effort to look for American Historical Fiction in my local public library. That's not to say that each place doesn't offer some, because they do, but rather to say that I never expect them to offer much of what I'm after.

This week I was in my local book store, yes the new one not the used one, when I stumbled upon Seven Little Australians on cd. I've made mental notes of which books we aim to read that I see on cd at our local library but this wasn't one I'd spotted in that fashion! I was very excited & then had a long chat with the clerk all about audio books & the woes of coming across one with a foul narrator.  I think we scared another customer off with our chatter, but I scored the book in the end!

Oddly enough my audio book club actually has this book for sale at about half the price of what I paid locally for it, but that's okay I really don't mind. In the mean time it's reminded me to check my local library for many of the books I've flagged for our Australian Studies to see which ones are available to listen to.

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